The Phoenix Coyotes (24-19-5) ended a ten-game losing streak in games against Detroit with a 6-3 win in front of their home crowd. The Detroit Red Wings (31-9-6) head into the All-Star break with a bit of a sour taste in their mouth after dropping their last two games of the road trip. The Wings are now 6-3-1 all-time on their annual father's trips.
The game was close throughout the first two periods of play and the score was actually tied at three goals apiece heading into the third period. Unfortunately, the Wings were unable to convert on their nine shots in the final frame and the Coyotes snagged three goals including an empty netter to seal the deal.
With the Wings already short a forward due to Johan Franzen's absence (strained hip), head coach Mike Babcock had to juggle his lines even more when defenseman Brad Stuart went head first into the boards shortly before Detroit's first goal in the opening stanza. He was helped off the ice to the locker room and did not return to the game.
Mikael Samuelsson opened the scoring with a power-play goal 9:59 into the first period. He took a shot from the bottom of the left faceoff circle and got the puck high enough to find the small opening between the goalposts and Ilja Bryzgalov's helmet and shoulder. Phoenix would score two straight goals before Detroit responded.
Captain Nicklas Lidstrom teed up a shot from the top of the left faceoff circle that went straight to the top right corner of the net. The goal came on a 5-on-3 man advantage. Detroit went 3-for-6 on the power play against Phoenix. Lidstrom evened the score up once again about 12 and a half minutes later on a classic slapshot from the point (again, on the power play).
Amazingly, Tuesday night's loss marks the first time this season that Detroit has lost consecutive games. Considering Detroit has played in 46 games so far in the regular season, that's pretty impressive. Hopefully the Wings will be able to regroup over the All-Star break and prevent it from becoming the first three-game losing streak of the season.
The best note at the end of the Associated Press game recap that I've seen in a long time is as follows:
A Detroit fan threw an octopus onto the ice after Samuelsson's goal. A second octopus hit the ice following Lisin's empty-netter and a third with 5.5 seconds left, possibly because fans didn't want to take home their soggy, smuggled cephalopods.
Christy's Red Wing of the Game: Nicklas Lidstrom
The captain tallied two of Detroit's three goals in the loss. And he's one of the best players on the ice normally so I had to go with Norris.
|2008 - Nicklas Lidstrom||44||7||25||32||16||14||5||0||2||0||105||6.7|
Detroit will get a week off thanks to the All-Star break before going back on the road to face Columbus on January 27. Both Lidstrom and Pavel Datsyuk, who posted two assists Tuesday, will represent the Wings at the All-Star game, which you can catch on Sunday (Jan. 25) evening.